Advent is a time of great expectations.
Sometimes these expectations about the last days are sullen with negativity. Our Lord reminds us of the difficulty of the last days in the Holy Scriptures:
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV)
With terrorism becoming a common household word and fear gripping people throughout the entire world, we are often tempted not to expect very much good at all. Unlike other eras in history, ours is not a particularly hopeful time. Cynicism has been elevated to a virtue as preparing for the worst has led to expecting the worst with no hint of hope.
Yet, our Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross to save us from sin, death and the devil and rose from the dead to bring us forgiveness of sin, life and salvation. Delivering His gifts to us in His Holy Word, Holy Baptism, Holy Absolution and the Holy Eucharist, we are fortified by and filled with hope constantly. It is received by grace, through faith, on account of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2). His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3). In Christ, we have great expectations; hope will not disappoint us (Romans 5). Hope died on the cross, yet rose from the dead for us and is coming back in glory to deliver us and renew all creation.
In a world of such dour doubt and dashed prospects for peace, then, it is good for us in these Advent days to hear what our Lord promises about the future as we wait in hope for the day of His glorious return. As our Lord’s people—heirs of His promise—we are privileged to have great expectations on which to meditate day and night as we are made to stand on the promises of God in Christ Jesus.
He will save us (Joel 2:32; Matthew 24:13).
He will rise with healing in His wings (Malachi 4:2).
He will make all things new (Revelation 21:5).
He will wipe away every tear from our eyes (Revelation 21:4).
He will heal the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds (Psalm 147:3).
He will raise us up (John 6:40)
He will defeat death; death will be no more (Revelation 21:4).
He will reign forever and ever (Revelation 11:15).
He will take away crying and pain (Revelation 21:4).
He will give us to eat from the tree of life (Revelation 2:7).
He will give us a crown of life to wear (Revelation 2:10, James 1:12).
He will give us the hidden manna (Revelation 2:17).
He shall give us power over the nations (Revelation 2:26).
He shall give us the Morning Star (Revelation 2:28).
He shall give us white garments (Revelation 3:5).
He shall make us pillars in the temple of God (Revelation 3:12).
Be constant, then, in hearing our Lord’s Word in this Advent season of great expectations. There are many words from the world scrolling at the bottom of television screens, tweeted on the web, texted on mobile devices and pummeled in our ears. Yet, our Savior’s salvation slaughters the sinister sin of cynicism, slaying the sly slander of Satan while heightening our hope for the new Day still coming. As people with great expectations, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:16-17)” as we pray, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).
Peace and love always in Christ with great expectations,
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A Brief History
By the mercy of Almighty God, Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Bronx, New York, was founded in 1928.
Members of St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Yonkers who lived in the Wakefield section of the Bronx in...
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Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church
4360 Rev. Theodore Wittrock Crossing
(Boyd and Barnes Avenues)
The Bronx, NY 10466-1804
Phone: 718.324.1288 - Fax: 718.324.2056
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